FORMER Gosport police officer Ian ‘Bob’ Hope has been given a bravery award after rescuing a woman from a frozen river.
Bob, 50, pulled a stricken woman from the Bow River in Calgary, Canada, when he was on patrol.
The former Gosport police officer and fellow transit peace officer Darcy Hare have been given Calgary Fire Department’s highest honour.
Speaking to The News the former Gosport police officer said: ‘I’m very honoured to be selected with my partner Darcy to receive this medal for bravery, we are the first in our department to be honoured in this way.
‘We are glad that we were able to resolve a life-threatening event with no loss of life.
‘We do consider there was element of luck on our side, a weak portion of ice and we would have been in the water.’
As reported, Ian and Darcy had been driving over the Langevin Bridge when they spotted a man trying to rescue a woman.
In freezing –13C weather the pair clambered over snow-covered boulders to reach the stricken woman.
The woman was up to her neck in water when the man tired.
The pair took over and pulled her from the river.
The former sailor moved to Canada in 2006 after serving as a constable with Hampshire police in Gosport.
He added: ‘It’s not every day you get awarded a medal for bravery. My family, friends and colleagues are also proud of our achievement.
‘It never entered my mind not to act, someone was in trouble and I could do something about it.’
The former sailor and bodybuilder’s parents Chris Hope, 76, and Sylvia, 74, still live in Stubbington.
Chris said: ‘He’s quite a character – not the sort of person who would say he can’t do something.
‘He’s quite a big fella and not afraid to get involved.’
The pair watched their son being given the honour via the internet.
Sylvia added: ‘It was lovely – and to see them all there was nice.’
In the ceremony Carole Henke, public information officer, said: ‘The two men were able to safely pull the woman out of the ice waters away from the crumbling surface and to safety just as emergency responders arrived.
‘Thanks to the brave life-saving efforts of these men, the woman was able to be turned over to emergency medical services.’